18 National News

posted Mar 19, 2019, 3:27 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Mar 19, 2019, 3:27 AM ]

Church communicators urged to fight fake news

Church communicators should become prophets in this age of fake news, and denounce fearlessly all that is wrong in the country as well as in the Church, said the editor of a leading Christian weekly in India. "In the thirst to be first, truth has been sacrificed on the altar of 'breaking news '," Fr Suresh Mathew, editor of the Indian Currents, told a meeting of diocesan communicators at Varanasi, organised by the Office of Social Communication of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI).

The New Delhi-based Capuchin priest noted that political parties who have understood the impact of "seeing-is-believing," now resort to social media, especially WhatsApp, to propagate their political agenda. In the process, social media platforms have become "factories of disinformation" and "promoters of fake news," regretted Fr Mathew, who was recently elected National Secretary of the Indian Catholic Press Association.


New Delhi
India announces elections during Holy Week

Christians in India are "unhappy because the dates of the elections were set during Holy Week," said Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC).

"In Goa, where Christians represent one third of the population, the vote was scheduled on April 23. Here the political parties compete for two seats in the Lok Sabha. There will be a bitter battle during the Easter Triduum, which will end at 5 pm on Easter Sunday [April 21]".


Catholic Church mourns Goa Chief Minister's death

The Catholic bishops of India, on March 17, joined political and social leaders to mourn the death of Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, an alumnus of a Church school. Parrikar, who had been battling pancreatic cancer for more than a year, died in the evening at his son's home in Panaji, the state capital. He was 63.

"We can truly say that Goa and India have lost a great leader, and the Christian community has lost a sincere and honest friend," said a condolence message from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India that expressed "profound sorrow at the sad demise." The conference offered condolences to Parrikar's two sons and other family members. "We pray for the repose of his soul," added the message, issued soon after the death was announced.

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Foster collaboration: Jesuit General tells seminarians

Jesuit Superior General Fr Arturo Sosa has asked seminarians in India to become priests who care for the people at the margins, by developing a sense of collaboration with all. "We are invited to go to the peripheries to take up ministries that are challenging, where no one else will dare to go," Fr Sosa said, while addressing a gathering of Papal Seminary community in Pune on March 6.

Fr Sosa arrived in India March 1 for a week-long visit of various Jesuit houses, including the Papal Seminary in Pune, which celebrated its 125 years of existence last year. He based his talk to the community on the Jubilee theme: "Looking Back with Gratitude, Looking Forward with Trust."

"The universal Church needs you," he said, assuring seminarians that "the Jesuits will always stand by you: we are partners in the Mission of God. The Church is facing challenges all over the world. These challenges are hampering the Mission of Christ. To meet these external challenges, we need to form ourselves well, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually," said the global Jesuit head.


Two UTs scrap Good Friday holiday

For the first time in India's history, two Indian territories have abolished Good Friday as a national holiday. These are Dadra-Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.

Msgr Theodore Mascarenhas, Secretary General of the Indian Bishops' Conference (CBCI) told AsiaNews: "This is very sad. A clear discrimination is being practised by the Administrator. We appeal to all, including the Administrator of these centrally administered territories, to respect the sentiments of the people and to avoid divisive methods."